Translated from the French by Pierre Joris
Anticipation of an Exclusion
I nomad I heal through sand writings the wounds of becoming in waiting I’ll track the image of death in you your star paths and there where it will be present with kaftans with kif bouquets fostering mirages death very beautiful like the sovereign reading of our hands Because I See us I’ll spit out my remembrances at dawn without you my inaudible kinships in the troubled waters of uncertain early mornings I’ll be the one whose voice is native to cities thrown to their defeats in debris of heavens that haunt them who does not know my name my origin I’ll be the blood-me so as never again to dream. Death is red all-over who discovers its blazing owl and the dullness of a moon asleep in its sources Memory damned From then on I speak the language inherited from a vast spread out night I nomad I would like as in an ancient rite and wearing a mask I would like with moving grounds I would like with cycles of bodies walled in the mud I’d like from yesterday to tomorrow with streets booby-trapped with men with eyes like extinct suns with streets without cities with cities without names I would like to arrive like a fish according to the customs of water that punctuate your name with an island in my gaze I would like like an intense cloud over crops without soil like a life possibility that is other like a cry to come back and inflict on your body the spectacle of my shadow peninsulas cut through our difficulty of being or die I speak that half of my language where the sun is a fissure while in the other half everything between us remains a thousand times to be resaid the sun is in my language the phosphorescent jewel summing up venomous nights of porphyry inside you protecting forever from my sight the fogs of your shores and the solid earth of your warheaded tales the sun in my Adam’s apple bursts the dams of refusal on the sea that I drink all up to hear you I want to read on your breasts the pink alphabet of pain’s solitudes and the predictions of all the mountains to come Nomad to ruin one religion a day without straying from myself that is from the fracas and plutonium eruptions of my blood standing watch on the ramparts of the jade palaces of the mother-of-pearl mausoleums I would like to ruin one religion a day and all the golden temples in my memories — set traps for the phantoms that venture out of forgetting I arrive by the caravan come out of the great gash in space. (…)
Born in 1943, Mostafa Nissabouri is a core representative of contemporary francophone Moroccan poetry, co-founder — with Abdellatif Laâbi & Mohamed Khair-Eddine — of the great avant-garde 1960s magazine Souffles, & was later editor of Intégral. Writes James Kirkup: “His language, French, is both classical in its vocabulary and surreal in its style and in the play of its images. Mixed in among concrete and abstract terms, one finds specialized vocabularies belonging to botany, oceanography, geography and medicine… The violent uprushes of his sonorous French remind me of the improvisations of the tellers of tales on the public squares of Fez and Marrakech.” Nissabouri has published a number of volumes of poetry, most recently Approche du désertique (Al Manar, 1997 & 1998) & earlier three major collections: La mille et deuxième nuit, Rupture & Aube. He himself has said of his approach to writing: “I don’t write for, I write against… I remain strongly convinced that a true revolution is the result of the destruction of mental structures and consequently of those of language itself, the enemy # 1 of DESIRE.”
Pierre Joris most recently published The Agony of I.B. (a play, Editions PHI), An American Suite (early poems, Inpatient Press), Barzakh: Poems 2000-2012 (Black Widow Press) & Breathturn into Timestead: The Collected Later Poetry of Paul Celan (FSG). He resides & resists in Sorrentinostan, Brooklyn when not on the road.